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BBA alum joins forces with current business students to increase recruitment and retention of newcomers

Author: UNB Alumni

Posted on Oct 19, 2021

Category: Management , UNB Fredericton , Inspiring Stories


Young alum Nicole Andrade (BBA’20) has only just begun her career, but she's already doing exciting and meaningful work as part of FLIP, the Fredericton Local Immigration Partnership. Not only is she using the skills she learned in the sales accelerator program in the Faculty of Management, she’s also drawing on her own experience of being a newcomer to New Brunswick.

Nicole moved to Fredericton in 2016 from Quito, Ecuador to study business, after encouragement from her mother to consider schools in Canada. Coming from a family where both parents are entrepreneurs, Nicole knew the Faculty of Management programs would be a good fit for her. As part of the BBA, she enrolled in the co-op program and the sales accelerator program to gain experience with employers. These gave her an opportunity to work with a local start-up company, and through that experience was introduced to the team at Ignite Fredericton. Soon after graduation, she was offered the program coordinator role for FLIP in November 2020.

Within this position, Nicole leads Fredericton’s Local Immigration Partnership. She manages relationships with a multitude of stakeholders that form the FLIP, who collectively address many of the barriers faced by newcomers and ensure that the region continues to attract top international talent.

Recently, Nicole and FLIP’s Wealth Creation Retention team joined forces with business students studying strategic management. Led by Ibrahim Shaikh as part of the faculty’s expanded experiential curriculum, students are analyzing local employer dynamics, information flow about job opportunities and newcomer feedback. From there, they will offer recommendation for how to lower barriers and increase the flow of skilled labour into the local economy. The goal is to use this new analysis to advise local employers on how to more actively recruit and onboard newcomers, and to advise all levels of government on potential policy changes or program enhancements to increase newcomer retention rates.

Nicole says the sales accelerator program at UNB has allowed her to make valuable connections and opened doors to employment. “The program not only equipped me with new skills but allowed me to find a mentor who believed in me and supported my professional development. My degree and the facets of experiential learning that were built into it allowed me to understand strategic plan development, how to conduct real-market research, how to present and pitch, and also the importance of relationship building.”

“My work is really exciting and fulfilling. My education, experiential learning, mentors and colleagues have helped me get to where I am, and none of it would be possible without the unconditional support and trust of my family.”